BELGRADE, Serbia 

As many as 1,000 Serbian tourists have already started their holidays in Turkey this summer, the country’s travel agency association said Wednesday.

The information from the National Association of Travel Agencies of Serbia (YUTA) came after Turkish Airlines resumed its flights to the country only a few days ago after a three-month suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Turkey’s flagship air carrier company resumed its flights between Belgrade and Istanbul on Monday.

“Tourists who traveled to Turkey have no problems,” said the director of YUTA, Aleksandar Senicic.

The rise in Serbian tourists arriving in Turkey has been partially caused by a travel ban to neighboring Croatia and Montenegro, two of the top holiday destinations for Serbs.

Montenegro and Croatia in early June announced that they would allow visitors from a list of European countries, a list excluding Serbia.

Marija Osmajlic from Belgrade said that she is planning a trip to Istanbul.

“I love Istanbul, I have Turkish friends inviting me all the time, I can’t wait to visit Istanbul again. As soon as possible, I will be traveling to Istanbul,” said Osmajlic.

Anja Stankovic said that she is planning to visit Turkey’s West Coast.

“Most probably it will be Fethiye or Antalya, I haven’t decided yet, but I’m working on it,” said Stankovic.

Meanwhile, Turkish tourists also began to arrive in Serbia via Turkish Airlines regular flights.

Bugra Artan from Istanbul arrived in Belgrade on Wednesday.

“I’m very happy to be back in Serbia after a long pandemic break. I’m happy to visit Belgrade and be reunited with my friends,” he said.

In 2019, about 150,000 Turkish citizens arrived in Serbia and nearly 300,000 people from Serbia visited Turkey.

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